Sitting here at my desk, 2549 miles away from home, I’m less homesick than I was when I was only a 90-minute drive away. Strange.
I was the kid who went home every single weekend during college. I don’t think I stayed on campus even a single weekend during freshman year, but I might have stayed once a month by senior year. Or am I being too generous with myself? I lived alone in my apartment and, shocker, I wasn’t the hub where people came over all the time. I was so lonely most of the time that I went home solely for the comfort that another person would definitely be there.
I’ve already mentioned it before, but I was so nervous that homesickness and depression would overwhelm me when I moved out to LA. Now, it’s only been a few days out here on my own so time will tell, but I’m managing it pretty well. No doubt I’ve been bored and want of company, but I haven’t called my mom crying in the middle of the night asking her to buy me a plane ticket. Knowing my mom and recalling how much we both broke down when she left, she’d quickly whip out her credit card and get me on the next flight. When I was still a senior in college discussing grad schools with my advisor, she immediately USC and the west coast, to which I immediately responded, “No, no, I could never move to the west coast. Not an option.” Yet, here I am.
I don’t know why I feel so differently about being alone and away from home now. Maybe it’s that I’m more prepared for it this time. Maybe it’s that college wasn’t initially my decision, it was something I had to do, and leaving home felt like it was forced on me. Maybe it’s that grad school is something I’ve worked toward for close to two years and the accomplishment is enough to drive out any feelings of wanting to go back to the way things were. Of course, I miss my friends (the both of them), my family, and the ease of being in my hometown. It’s less of a homesickness than it is a feeling of being disconnected. I’m out of the loop and that’s a bummer. I can still go to Target, I have the same comforter and pillowcases, and I watch the same TV shows, so it’s not a complete change from my usual normal. But I do have to turn on the GPS just to leave the house, think about what time it is on the east coast before calling family, and consciously try to stay involved in my friend’s lives. Being away from home isn’t as much sad, as it is difficult.